Go to the WeHo parade and look at the parade of “costumes” (at least10 percent of the body must be covered with somethin g for it to be classified as a costume). Halloween has become nothing more than an excuse for women and men to turn any animal provocative with the mere addition of cat or fox ears, a bunny tail or even peacock feathers to their bodies.
However, there is a climax even more important than the one these costumes allude to: Death.
“Death is the climax of life,” said Mexican writer and poet Octavio Paz, and nowhere is this more evident in “The Grown-Up's Halloween,” Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. A holiday – dare I say it – better than Halloween. A Mexican hybrid of its native, Mayan and Aztec culture and the Catholic crusade against it, Dia mainly involves going to the cemetery to create altars ( ofrenda ) for loved ones who have passed away. The purpose is to help guide the spirits back from the Land of the Dead and to remind the living that life is fleeting, death is imminent and is to be laughed at.
Puro Muerto: Contemporary Imagery of Day of the Dead defines this Mexican ideology in a language that we all can understand. Paintings of calaveras (skeletons) in party hats, luchadore outfits and sombreros seem to say that death is here to stay; our possessions and outfits become comical after the grave.
No matter what we do to death – mock it, embrace it, run from it, attempt to stymie it with overt sexuality – in the end, it's coming. So why not celebrate it?
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